GAO calls for better VA/DOD collaboration on iEHR

March 8, 2014

In a new report, “Electronic Health Records: VA and DOD Need to Support Cost and Schedule Claims, Develop Interoperability Plans, and Improve Collaboration,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the iEHR program.

The report expresses concern that “VA and DOD lack assurance that they are pursuing the most cost-effective and timely course of action for delivering the fully interoperable electronic health record the departments have long pursued to provide the best possible care for service members and veterans.”  It also notes that “the Interagency Program Office (IPO), established by law to act as a single point of accountability for the departments' development of interoperable health records, was to better position the departments to collaborate; but the departments have not implemented the IPO in a manner consistent with effective collaboration.”

GAO recommends that VA and DOD “develop and compare the estimated cost and schedule of their current and previous approaches to creating an interoperable electronic health record and, if applicable, provide a rationale for pursuing a more costly or time-consuming approach. GAO also recommends that the departments develop plans for interoperability and ensure the IPO has control over needed resources and clearer lines of authority. VA and DOD concurred with GAO's recommendations.”

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